Do you enjoy listening to music through headphones when working out at Best Fitness Chelmsford on Chelmsford Street or doing other activities? Whether you’re just playing one song or playing music for hours at a time, it’s important to ensure you’re practicing safe listening. We review why safe listening is essential and how to practice it below.
Don’t Put Yourself at Risk of Noise-Induced Hearing Loss
If you’re listening to music through headphones at high volume, it puts you at risk of noise-induced hearing loss. This condition results from damaged sensory hair cells within the inner ear.
The inner ear contains the cochlea, which is filled with fluid and lined with tiny hair cells. When sound vibrations pass through the ears, it moves the fluid, which in turn moves the hair cells. The hair cells’ job is to convert these sound vibrations into electrical energy that the brain can interpret as sound.
When loud sounds pass through the ears, it can damage or destroy the hair cells. Once damaged, they do not regenerate, resulting in permanent sensorineural hearing loss.
How Loud Is Too Loud?
The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders reports, “Long or repeated exposure to sounds at or above 85 dB can cause hearing loss.” This is about the volume of passing highway traffic, which can cause damage over eight hours or more of exposure. Your headphones can max out at 100 dB, loud enough to cause permanent damage in as little as five minutes!
How to Practice Safe Listening
Try the following tests to see if your headphones are too loud:
- Hold them at arm’s length. If you can hear the music playing, this means it’s too loud.
- Check the volume setting. The best rule to follow for safe listening is called the 60/60 rule, which states you should listen at no more than 60% of the device’s maximum volume for no more than 60 minutes at a time.
- Make sure you can hear others speaking. If you’re in the same room as someone, have them speak to you while you’re wearing your headphones. If you can’t hear them, turn down the volume.
- Use a sound meter. These devices can objectively tell how loud your headphones are. Put the tip into the ear cup of your headphones and look at the LED display. Adjust the volume until it’s below 85 dB.
For more information about hearing loss prevention or to schedule an appointment, call Massachusetts Hearing Group today.